Actual Play – Damascus Falls at BoyCon (6/22/2013)

Apocalypse GalacticaGM: Sean Nittner
Players: Zach, Josh Curtis, Justin Evans (aka J-dog, aka Mr. Boy, aka the only survivor)
System: Apocalypse World
Hack: Apocalypse Galactica

Mr. Boy was turning 40, and his wonderful wife thought what better way to celebrate that to throw him a weekend party of gaming with his boyz.

And so it came to be that we happened upon EndGame as the doors were opening, settled into the Carl Rigney table in the corner and played ourselves some Apocalypse Galactica.

Characters

Mr. Boy – Commander Abram Raptis -The hard as hell Commander of the Battlestar Argonaut who had taken over the fleet after his brother Admiral Acario sacrificed his life and the lives of everyone aboard Battlestar Athena to buy the fleet time to escape.

Josh – President Desma Yen – The conniving president who rigged her own election (before the Fall) and was now finding out what it really meant to be the steward of humankind.

Zach – Deepak Teng – A visionary who saw truth in the flames. We had a bit of license crossover here, he worshiped the Lord of Light, and instructed his missionaries to make merry and burn everything around them.

Opening Moves

The purpose of the love letters is to make sure something is going on at the start of the game. The scenario is set just after returning from a jump gone wrong (landing right in a Cylon ambush) and is laden with trouble. Damaged ships, suspicion of a traitor that led them into it, and the controversy between the President and Commander over the latter introducing Martial Law. It’s rife with problems but…

The guys make plenty of problems of their own. Deepak rolled his Fortunes and came up with want: Savagery. We decided that his missionaries had set the prisoners free on the prison ship Precipice, and they were now rioting.  When rolling her campaigns President Yen got the catastrophe “Malfucntions” and to keep them tied into each other, Josh through out that the prison ship had listed into the Condor (the agricultural ship) and cracked the dome, O2 was blasting out of it, even as ships were arriving from their jump.

Also, during Hx when picking their +3 connections, the guys all made deliciously contentious relationships. Commander Raptis blamed President Yen for his brother’s death and for the danger the fleet was in. Yen was in love with Deepak but didn’t believe in his “Lords of Light at all”, and Deepak, though a member of the presidents cabinet didn’t care about the president, but did want to teach the Commander that he needed to see the Truth.

Man, so take all that and add more complications from the love letters… it was a shit storm of crises (see Thoughts below).

Highlights

There were a ton of great moments in this game. Many of the highlights surrounded the Visionary Deepak, simply because he was so out of control.

His first “vision” was a baptism by fire as he sought wisdom from the Lords of Light about a pilot “Allycat”. Holding Allcat’s head over the edge of a raptor he had a vision, and watched the pilot die and be born again in a resurrection ship, surrounded by the likeness of himself. This vision was too much for Deepak to take and he dropped the pilot off the raptor, on his head where he broke his neck…

…just above two mobs of angry and potentially violent people! This was the only game where I saw Colonial Marines and Raptor pilots draw small arms and fire on each other. And that was only because the Commander decided to stop the fist fight from erupting by shooting his chief engineer in the brain pan. Chief Hsing was quite dead, but all that did was escalate the violence.

President Yen, set up her own VP Hye Su to take the fall on the prison ship. The self-same ship that with the visionaries guidance declared themselves a sovereign nation. The Nation of Light. This was the first time population was removed from the Presidents’ total, only to be added to the Visionary’s. The ship was declared and enemy vessel, and would have been nuked by Commander Raptis, if not for the Cylons suddenly arriving in overwhelming force.

In the end the President made a play to “sacrifice” herself by surrendering her ship to the Cylon’s while sneaking a Raptor armed with the sole nuke in her ship’s tylium wake. This worked just until the end when her faithful aid caught her trying to flee in an escape pod. And thus the President went down with the ship and aid Yeliz became the new president of the twelve colonies, or what was left of it.

Thoughts on this game

Gods Damnit these guys are great players. I set the stage and they took off with it.

The president’s political assassination of the Commander went a little like this. “Your CO has a new XO”, which was code for airlocking the XO. This game was a blood bath!

Since no-one was playing a pilot or CAG, when Deepak when to rouse the pilots into a frenzy, I should have had them ask him the question “how did our scouting go so wrong? Why did we jump right into a Cylon ambush?”

This is the first time I saw the President use the Well Connected (allowing her to spend Favors to describe someone owing her something and taking +2 going forward on a roll). I really liked how it worked. It pushed the president to go back for more favors and introduce more Fleet scale problems. Aces!

Also, the president move “Personable”, which allowed her to treat any interaction as an intimate moment and thus trigger the Special moves, was hot.

I wonder if rolling on the love letters (to introduce more problems) is a good idea if you see your players creating tons of their own. As is we had a great time but it did feel a bit like everything and the kitchen sink was going out the airlock.